Ongoing research at an Israeli university may lead to vaccines that can teach our immune systems to better fight Alzheimer's disease. An Israeli researcher who is working on a vaccine for Alzheimer's has discovered that it is possible to test and measure specific immune responses in mice carrying human genes and to anticipate the immune response in Alzheimer's patients.
The research at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) could lead one day to specific Alzheimer's vaccines that reduce plaque, neuronal damage and inflammation associated with the disease. Today around 5.3 million people in the US alone suffer from Alzheimer's, a debilitating and progressive disease that destroys the brain cells causing memory loss, according to the Alzheimer's Association. It is a fatal disease, and is the seventh leading cause of death in the US.
Amyloid beta-peptide accumulates in the brain of Alzheimer's patients where it appears to promote neuronal damage. In an article, recently published in the Journal of Immunology, BGU researcher Dr. Alon Monsonego [photo] determined that introducing A-beta into the brain triggers a natural immune response that can be detected in humans.
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